When discussing rhinoplasty procedures for the non-Caucasian population, the term ethnic rhinoplasty is often used. Every individual from any ethnic group is unique, but there are some commonalities among those within a particular group, so physical and psychological considerations are often discussed as a group. African Americans, in fact, display a particularly high degree of variability in their facial features, but it is possible to pull out some common threads which apply to many African American rhinoplasties.
African American patients often share similarities in the aspects of the nose they wish to change, with nostril shape being one of the most common. This population tends toward relatively large, wide nostrils, and patients often want to reduce the width of the base of the nose. The tip of the nose is often short, undefined, and sometimes appears dropped, so often African American rhinoplasty includes creating more definition in this area. The bridge of the nose is typically somewhat flat and wide, and patients often desire to increase the definition in this area.
Some physical differences in nasal structure exist between African American noses and those of European descent. The skin is thicker and does not have as much elasticity, particularly at the tip of the nose, which can provide challenges in reshaping that area. In terms of internal structure, the nasal bones are shorter, and the cartilage softer and slightly less structured. Because of this, grafts are often needed to help support the new nose, a technique known as augmentation rhinoplasty.
It is essential that you find a qualified physician who is familiar with African American noses and their anatomy. Your physician should also take into consideration your individual desires, and should not push a particular look on you. Experience is an important factor in making sure that you get a good result so that you are happy and your personal ethnic heritage is not erased.
If you are interested in discussing a rhinoplasty procedure, contact the Oakland office of Dr. Sheldon Kabaker, facial plastic surgeon, at 800-914-4247 to schedule a consultation.